After a lot of talk about their lack of size, rebounding and and off-and-on play, the Miami Heat are rolling as they enter the month of March. Currently on a 12 game win streak, the defending champs lost only one game in February and have won 17 of their last 19 overall.
LeBron James, whose historic play has been the main headline generator in recent weeks, is obviously a major reason for that. But Dwyane Wade, whose supposed athletic decline was brought up by Charles Barkley earlier in the season, has quietly returned to dominance. How is this for a one month stretch: 23.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.5 blocks and 1.7 steals and a very efficient 53% shooting clip.
Maybe that explains why Wade, who readers should know signed a multi-year deal with Chinese shoe brand, Li-Ning, over the off-season, has a new nickname, “WOW.” (One that LeBron finds corny, on a side note.) The nickname is referring to “Way of Wade,” which is the slogan for his shoe.
Nickname aside, one thing is clear: For Wade to leave Brand Jordan and join up with Li-Ning, there had to be a lot of money on the table. Just how much? Jalen Rose, on the Grantland Network’s “Jalen Rose Show” with David Jacoby, passes along a rumor that Wade’s deal is worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars and that he has an agreement in place to play in China when his NBA career is over.
Dwyane Wade just got nine figures, and I’m speculating, from a company in China [Li-Ning] to not only wear their shoes but endorse their gear… And I heard rumor, and I’m not going to tell everyone who told me this, that Dwyane Wade even promised this company that when he retires from in the NBA, he’s going to play a year in China. This is a real relationship with Li-Ning company.
Up until now, nobody — Wade or otherwise — has come out publicly on either the official numbers of his deal or as to whether or not he will play in China once he’s done in The League. And while we have nothing to add on the money front, the Wade-to-China rumors have been floating around these ears as well as a lot of other people in Chinese basketball. It’s not too difficult to understand: Simply, it makes a lot of sense for the brand’s superstar endorser to play in the country where his company is based. And given that China has hundreds of millions of potential customers… right, you get it.
In any case, we probably won’t know if that’s true anytime soon. But if Wade is in fact coming here sometime down the road, here’s hoping by that point Chinese stadiums will have turned on their heaters on game days.